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Saturday, 1 July, 2000, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Southern Europe leading the way
France, Portugal and Spain are reaping the benefits of their youth development systems and England have a lot of catching up to do according to Andy Roxburgh, chairman of Uefa's technical study group.
Roxburgh, who was previously national coach to Scotland and led them to the finals of the World Cup and European Championships, says there is a North/South divide developing in European football.
"The southern European teams have been the ones to dominate at Euro 2000 but it's not by chance, it's rather by design.
"I deal a lot with the youth programmes and France, Portugal and Spain are the top countries when it comes to developing young players.
"The Portuguese and the Spanish do incredible work with their young players. I think 17 of the Portuguese squad came out of their recent youth teams."
Roxburgh feels that northern European teams, including England and Germany, have been slow to adjust to the increasingly technical style of modern football.
Only recently have the English and Germans tried to redress the balance of power:
"They have the knowledge of how to do it and they have the technical ability how to do it."
Roxburgh feels that the English have always had well organised teams, a quality which came to the fore and impressed him in England's 1-0 win over Germany.
But that is no longer enough, and while he feels England do have some technically gifted players, they need to implement fundamental changes to start producing the number of players that the southern European teams are bringing through.
"It's really what's done first of all with children and then with youth players. That's where the intensity and seriousness of development has been shown in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
"They have done that in a better way than they have been doing in northern Europe.
"Creativity is something where they've got to be encouraged to work with the ball, not to win games when they're young."
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